Every graduate needs to be on LinkedIn to maximise their chances of finding a job. LinkedIn is one of the best ways for graduates to network and it is also a great way for recruiters to actually find you. That’s because LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network with over 380 million members in over 200 different countries. According to LinkedIn’s own statistics there are:
More than 2 new LinkedIn members every second
390 million students and graduates on LinkedIn
Graduates are LinkedIn’s fastest growing demographic
Simply creating a LinkedIn profile and hoping jobs offers start coming your way is obviously not going to work. You need to put some work into your LinkedIn profile if you want recruiters to be able to find you, and then actually like what they see. There are 8 key steps you need to work through to create the perfect LinkedIn profile if you are a recent or upcoming graduate.
8 Steps to create a Perfect Linked In Profile for Graduates
- 1. Clean Up Your Social Assets
Before you do anything else make sure you spend some time cleaning up the social assets you already have. It takes Google a while to re index your social sites so the sooner you clean things up the better. You don’t want someone finding you on LinkedIn, liking what they see, and then changing their mind when they see your other social assets. If you are unsure how to clean things up link through to our posts below. They run through the process step by step.
- 2. Register a Professional Email Address
If you do not have a professional email address already, create one today. Addresses like www.partyanimal.com may seem funny today but it’s not going to impress any employer. Also, no college or university email addresses as they may not be available to you long term. And finally, no current employer email address as that just looks extremely unprofessional and borderline unethical.
- 3. Upload a Professional Photo
LinkedIn profiles which feature a photo are 14 times more likely to be looked at than those without a photo. Yes it’s a bit of an effort and it may make you uncomfortable but it’s well worth taking the time to add a professional photo to your profile if you want employers to find you. Chose a photo with a neutral background, make sure you are looking at the camera and smile.
- 4. Write a Catchy Headline
Take the time to create a catchy heading and input that yourself. Make sure you override the default – LinkedIn will use your current position and drop that in as your headline if you don’t override it. Stick to the formula below:
Who I Am + What I Want – Cliches and Buzzwords
Here are a few examples for you to follow:
Marketing Graduate | Specialising in Market research | Interested in Trade Marketing and Data Analysis
Honours Accounting Graduate | Interested in Role in Tax Accounting
- 5. Create a Concise Profile Summary
A lot of graduates rush their profile summary or don’t bother completing it at all which is a big mistake. The summary serves two main purposes:
By filling it with keywords and industry terms it helps recruiters find your Linkedin Profile as you rank better in search
It gives you the opportunity to sell yourself
When completing the summary section make sure you clearly state who you are, what you do at the moment and what you are looking for.
- 6. Develop Your Additional Profile Features
In addition to the basic information in the summary section you need to spend some time filling things like extra skills, goals and volunteer work. All these will make a difference as they will help you stand out from tYou should also upload a copy of your resume making sure it is consistent with all other versions of your resume. Remember to focus on what you can do for potential employers.
- 7. Add Keywords and Optimise for SEO
Using keywords that are relevant to your industry will help recruiters and employers find your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you use industry keywords, acronyms and names of relevant tools and programs for your industry. For example if you are a web designer you should include
These keywords should appear in the skills, goals and experience areas of your profile.
- 8. Claim Your Unique URL
If you don’t specify the URL you would like LinkedIn will assign you one automatically. It’s not great, it’s like one of those automatically generated passwords, no one can ever remember those either. It’s best to override this and set your own vanity URL.
The upside of this is you can add it to your email signature or on business cards to make it even easier for key people to find your LinkedIn profile.
Set your account to public, access the ‘your public profile URL’ amd follow the directions form there. Generally it’s best to use your full name as you vanity URL.
LinkedIn can be a very valuable asset for graduates when it comes to networking and gaining the attention of recruiters but to do that you need to execute all the key steps properly. Once you have completed these steps take a look at the post below which covers off how to make your profile work harder for you. We look at how you can gain endorsements, key steps to networking and how to create great contacts and circles.
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